Rumtek Monastery - Gangtok
Unexampled World of Peace And Tranquility
Looking at the number of monasteries adorning the face of Sikkim, it is not tough to know that Buddhism is the most widely followed religion in Sikkim. There are nearly 200 monasteries in Sikkim that are scattered in all parts of the state. The monasteries of Sikkim are huge and magnificent, inspiring awe the very moment one sees them. The atmosphere of all the monasteries is permeated with Buddhism and spirituality. Monasteries are the best place in Sikkim where you can see the arts and culture of the state.
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre
Situated just 24 km from Gangtok, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is easily accessible by road. This is one of the most important religious sites in Sikkim which was build by late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in the year 1960. It is believed to be the exact replica of Kagyurpa Monastery in Tibet and contains some of the world's oldest and rarest manuscripts and religious artifacts. Close to the centre, stands Rumtek Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery was originally built in the year 1730 by ninth Karmapa but was left in ruins by fire, and was reconstructed to its present state. On 28th and 29th day of tenth month according to Tibetan calendar, annual dances called Kagyat and on 10th day of 5th month dances called Tsu-Chu Chaams are organized.
Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the most important and second oldest monasteries in Sikkim, that has been a part of Sikkimese life since 17th century. Pemayangtse Monastery was earlier a small Lhakhang which was built by Lhatsun Chempo. It was during the rule of third Chogyal ruler that the monastery was extended to the present size. The monastery belongs to Nyigma order monasteries. The main attraction of the monastery is a wooden sculpture showing the Maha Gurus Heavenly Palace 'Sanghthokpalri' which is kept on the top floor of the monastery. This invaluable piece of art was made by late Dungzin Rimpoche and it took him five years to complete the masterpiece. There are many more antique artifacts kept in the monastery. It is on 28th and 29th day of Tibetan 12th month that the main festival of the monastery is celebrated. There are dance performances that continue for two days. On the third day, 'Ghyo-ku', the gigantic embroidered Buddhist Scroll is unveiled. To witness this event, pilgrims from all over Sikkim come to Pemayangtse Monastery.
Enchey Monastery which means 'Solitary Temple' too belongs to Nyingma order. This monastery is more than 200 years old and was build in a place that was blessed by Lama Druptob who was known for his supernatural powers of flying. A completely secluded area was selected for its construction and it was said that no other building or structure should be raised near to this monastery. During the reign of Sidyong Tulku, the monastery was rebuilt to its present size. There are nearly 90 monks who stay in Enchey Monastery which is constructed in the shape of a Chinese Pagoda. The annual festival is held on 18th and 19th day of 12th month according to Tibetan Calendar. The traditional masked dance called 'Cham' is the main event of the festival.
Situated in Gangtok, Do-Drul Chorten was built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche. Do-drul Chorten is one of the most important and visited attractions in Gangtok. This flawlessly white stupa has a revered golden Shikhara containing 108 prayer wheels which makes a highly religious place. Do-drul chorten contains the complete mandala set of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy books), and many other holy objects including complete Zung (mantras). Two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padamsambhava) adorn the side of Do-drul Chorten that further add to the beauty of the stupa. The Chorten holds many more sacred books and manuscripts that make it a must visit for Buddhist Pilgrims.
Since ages, monasteries of Sikkim have been an inseparable part of Sikkimese culture and religion. They well preserved monasteries virtually narrate the entire history of Sikkim that will not fail to mesmerize you. Visit the magical monasteries of Sikkim and know all you need to about Sikkim culture.